‘School shoes don’t go in the bathtub’ and other important things …

… to know before the first day of kindergarten

By Kevin Spradlin
PeeDeePost.com

ROCKINGHAM — Kennidy’s got this.

Kennidy Taylor’s mom, Angie Taylor, said her 5-year-old is “very excited” to begin kindergarten at L.J. Bell Elementary School later this month.

Kennidy had opportunities Friday during a Countdown to Kindergarten celebration at Discovery Place KIDS in downtown Rockingham to show off her skills and confidence — and she did exactly that. The primary colors lesson in the DPK first-floor lab, led by staff member Jordyn Chance, helped Kennidy understand that red and blue makes purple.

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com Led by Discovery Place KIDS staff member Jordyn Chance, 5-year-old Kennidy Taylor, of Rockingham, learns about primary colors and what happens when you mix 'em.

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com
Led by Discovery Place KIDS staff member Jordyn Chance, 5-year-old Kennidy Taylor, of Rockingham, learns about primary colors and what happens when you mix ’em.

“She’s very eager,” Angie said.

The three-hour program — which attracted 210 visitors — featured free museum admission as community partners including Richmond County Schools, Richmond County Public Libraries, Communities in Schools, Belk, Food Lion, Radio Disney, Sandhills Farm to Table and The Country Bookshop combined to offer skill-building activities and information that children and parents will need in preparation for their first day of school. Students met with local kindergarten teachers, visited a mock classroom, discovered healthy lunches, practiced carrying a lunch tray, determined that yellow and blue makes green and learned about scissor safety.

Taylor said Kennidy’s confidence was aided by a year in pre-kindgarten at Roberdel Baptist Church. There seemed to be next to no angst in the Taylor household. The Smith family, also of Rockingham, might be a different story.

Patrick and Allison Smith said their 5-year-old son, Jimmy, also is all set to begin at L.J. Bell Elementary on Aug. 25. The idea of bringing Jimmy to Discovery Place KIDs on Friday was in “getting him comfortable with a few things he’ll have to do” at school, Allison said.

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com Storytime, facilitated by DPK staff member Laurren VunCannon, was a hit — and there seem to be an awful lot of life lessons to learn before the first day of kindergarten.

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com
Storytime, facilitated by DPK staff member Lauren VunCannon, was a hit — and there seem to be an awful lot of life lessons to learn before the first day of kindergarten.

Jimmy also is being encouraged to be “a little more independent” rather than have Mom and Dad there on a constant basis. As for Mom and Dad — well, Dad’s scheduled off work the first two days of school which makes things a lot easier on Mom, or so she said.

“I think it’s gonna be me,” Allison said when asked who might be more anxious. “Although, if I pretend it’s not happening …”

Children enjoyed a fashion show on the Sandhills Stage on the top floor that was followed by a reading of Countdown to Kindergarten, written by Alison McGhee. DPK staff member Lauren VunCannon managed to convey the story quite well and kept the kids’ attention as she explored the book’s universal lessons, which include:

* Cat food doesn’t go in shoes;
* School shoes don’t go in the bathtub; and
* Shoelaces are not food

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com Hutton Allen, 2, takes a bite out of the apprehension that some kindergarteners might feel as the first day of school approaches.

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com
Hutton Allen, 2, takes a bite out of the apprehension that some kindergarteners might feel as the first day of school approaches.

The back-to-school effort gets in full swing beginning next week. The Leath Memorial Library’s summer reading program ends with a grand finale at 10 a.m. Wednesday in downtown Rockingham with Rock Star Magic. On Friday at 10 a.m., the Hamlet library will host its back-to-school program and the first 100 children will receive a free book.

Richmond County Schools has released its open house schedule for the remaining 15 schools. Richmond Early College had its open house on Thursday. The balance of the schedule is:

* Thursday, Aug. 21 from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.
Cordova Elementary, East Rockingham Elementary, Fairview Heights Elementary, Monroe Avenue Elementary, Washington Street Elementary, Richmond Senior (until 7 p.m.)

* Thursday, Aug. 21 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Hamlet Middle, Rockingham Middle, Rohanen Middle, Ninth Grade Academy and Leak Street High

* Friday, Aug. 22, from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.
West Rockingham Elementary and Ellerbe Middle School.

* Sunday, Aug. 24
L.J. Bell Elementary (from 2:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.)
Mineral Springs Elementary (from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.)

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com Patrick Smith, 5, of Rockingham, practices carrying a lunch tray under the careful tutelage of DPK staff member Wayne Webb.

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com
Patrick Smith, 5, of Rockingham, practices carrying a lunch tray under the careful tutelage of DPK staff member Wayne Webb.

Filed in: Education, Featured News, Latest Headlines, News

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